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Personal Tutoring in SSHP

The Benefits of Engaging with your Personal Tutor.

Much of the research in Higher Education has categorically related personal tutoring and meaningful interaction with academic staff as the single most consistent factor in students achieving the highest grades and is aligned with academic success. Indeed no other element seems to underpin student success in the same way. Certainly meeting with academic staff alone is not going to address your assignments but it may give you added sense of belonging, being supported and self confidence that underpins all other engagement with academic tasks and support.

What is a Personal Tutor and How to Find Yours?

Your personal tutor is a member of academic staff who is your first point of contact for both pastoral and academic support.  All personal tutors are involved in teaching and as such they have knowledge of the expectations and workloads of their tutees and are well placed to provide academic support.  It is hoped that you will meet with your personal tutor a minimum of twice a year and the onus is on you to make contact with your personal tutor for a meeting.

In addition, personal tutors are there to listen to your challenges which may have an impact on your academic performance.  Your personal tutor is unlikely to provide answers or solutions to your personal challenges but will be able to refer you to the appropriate support service in the university.  For many students just having the opportunity to share their challenges with an academic member of staff who is empathetic and present is helpful. The process of being listened too may facilitate you looking at your challenge from a different perspective and finding solutions to your challenges yourself.

While your personal tutor may have great listening skills they are not counsellors and may refer you to BBK counsellors if that is what you need.  In essence the personal tutoring relationship focuses on your academic progress and gives you the opportunity to discuss your successes and challenges in an understanding and supportive environment.

So who is your SSHP Personal Tutor?

Your personal tutor details can be found in the ‘My Birkbeck’ student profile under the tab ‘study support’. This is the assigned academic member staff who will meet with you, a suggested once per term is my recommendation and you may decide to meet face to face when you wish to review and reflect on your performance. I suggest you make contact early in your studies to introduce yourself and describe your academic strengths and opportunities for development.

Tips for Success

Many students describe being overwhelmed by the wide range and choice of academic development resources on the BBK learning development Moodle pages

The resources which students describe as being most useful are in aiding their process of writing are:

1.7 Academic Phrasebank (University of Manchester)

2.5c(3) Harvard referencing guide (Anglia Ruskin (Library)

2.4c(3) Writing at post graduate level tutorials (Cardiff university)

Learning Development ‘Maximise your Potential’

This short animation describes why it is so important for you to develop your academic skills in order for you to maximise your potential.  Our Experience at BBK has shown that those who engage with learning development achieve the greatest success in their studies and the animation explains where to access learning development resources. Be the best you can be!